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Hwang 17, Garcia 9, New Zealand 5, Us 3, The City 2, Pacheco 2, Mr. Pacheco 2, Ms. Salerno 2, Dolores 1, Hypodermic Needles 1, Deborah 1, Sandy 1, Ted Bartlett 1, Hancock 1, Jennifer 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    September 8, 2010
    5:30 - 6:00pm PDT  

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in the event they did not decide to replace them -- >> we determined that the words could not safely be pruned. there is one tree that could not be replaced under current guidelines, so in that case, the would-be acquirer to pay. -- would be acquired -- required to pay. this is the red flowering gum, again here, and just some closeups of the truck in proximity to the building. you can see some of the sidewalk damage here, but, again, we are dealing with a wide sidewalks, and we are dealing with a fairly significant situation to allow forward growth and for what needs to be cut.
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commissioner hwang: i have a question. the first when you pointed out, with the car in front of it, and this has nothing to do with the branches. >> we always look to the structure of the tree to see if it is sound. we do not want to leave a tree that is prone to failure. in this case, this one had been topped, and this is very detrimental to the health and structure of the tree.
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it does say that they are in need of corrective pruning. we thought that was enough to work with to create the structure. >> -- commissioner garcia: do we know if they have been cited for side what damage? >> they have. this is probably the best. this is, again, the red flowering guym species -- gum species. then we have these others. vice president goh: duties madge
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the species there? >> no, there are others -- do these match the species? >> no, there are others. commissioner hwang: the fact that there are similar trees, is this part of the consideration? >> no, it is sometimes considered when a replacement species is being considered. commissioner hwang: thank you. ms. salerno, you have seven minutes. >> good evening. i am the property manager at 650 church st., and i in your to obviously appealed the denial to remove the tree. we have two major concerns with conducting the repairs -- i am
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here to obviously appeal the denial. one of the board members alluded to it, first being the costs associated to it, and this is just going to happen again. i am not an arborist, but i know that trees grow. i am worried that we are just going to be in this position again, in an incredibly costly dilemma, and if we can avoid undertaking that, we would love to do that, and what we have proposed, the owner, is that we would gladly replace these trees with more or but appropriate trees, much like the one the city installed they are maybe japanese maples. again, i am not an arborist. a bustling urban environment. the new zealand christmas tree
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is massive, and so, our concern is that we repair the sidewalk, undertake this massive financial and deborah, and in be in this position a few years down the road. another issue for us is safety, not just the concerns we have with the sidewalk, which would temporarily be alleviated if we made these repairs, but also the fact that the building is located directly across where there is a lot of drug activity. this was covered in graffiti. we're deathly not immune from those activities this goes up to church street. there is a lot of crime up there, and the neighbors, and my residence in particular, are concerned that someone is going to be hiding behind these trees, because they are easy to lurk behind, in their large enough
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to facilitate a grown man hiding behind them, and we do not want to have someone attacked or raped or worse, so that is a major concern for us. as you can see from the pictures, previously, the foliage on the trees is a mess, and you can get into someone's windows, and that is a concern. even with a protein that the department of urban forestry told us to undertake -- even with what the department of urban forestry told us to undertake. that is our concern. we want to take care of our residents and our neighbors. we're all about ecology and the preservation of the air, but we really do want to put people before plants. i know that you have a vested interest in that. those are our main concerns. again, i really want to reiterate the fact that your
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absorbent 100% of the cost of exit -- replacing trees -- you are absorbing 100% of the cost of replacing trees, more in line with the trees that are in the neighborhood currently. commissioner fung: are you aware that the recommended trees up the department's request are probably going to cost more vote -- more than to prune the trees? >> we'll understand it would be a substantial cost, but we are willing to do that, because we will be in the same predicament again. that kind of outweighs that. plus, again, safety is of utmost importance, and we want to protect a residence planting trees that people cannot work behind. l -- urk behind -- lurk.
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vice president goh: when was the last time they were replaced could >> i do not know. i worked for the previous owner, so i do not have any insight on that. vice president goh: thank you. commissioner hwang: thank you. is there any public comment on this item? please step forward. >> good afternoon. my name is frank, and i occupied the building directly next to 650 churst street -- church street, at 658. while these trees are not technically dead, they are really not in keeping with the
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rest of the trees that have been installed along church street. just 1.5 years ago, the city did install several new trees, which really looks very nice, and this sort of conflicts with the existing trees, particularly of the corner of hancock in church street. it is unreasonable to ask the owners of the property to repair the sidewalks only to still of a problem of the roots buckling the sidewalks again. i think since they are really willing to bear the entire cost of replacing these trees and putting in, you know, trees that are more consistent with the area, i think that should be strongly considered. in terms of the foliage, i am
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not sure when these photos were taken that were put up, but right now, you cannot see -- you can barely see the street sign where it says church in hancock, and it is also camouflaging that, which creates a very serious safety situation, and even if these trees are not removed, they have to be seriously trimmed but -- back, because as jennifer has mentioned, when facing dolores park, there are steps leading in and out of dolores park, and it does present a safety hazard. so, basically, what i am saying is i would like you to seriously consider the request to remove these trees and put some trees that are more consistent with what is there unlike the city installed, given the fact that
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the owner is willing to absorb 100% of the cost of this. i do not think it is an unreasonable request. commissioner fung: do you know what kind of trees were installed by the city? >> uh, i'm not sure. they are like little maple trees. they installed them all of the way up church street. commissioner fung: what size are they? >> well, they are fairly small now, but i expect -- 8 feet, maybe 9 feet, 10 feet. these trees and we're talking about today or maybe 30 feet high. they have become a real problem, and not just from the words with the sidewalks buckling, but also the fact that it is creating a
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problem in terms of the foliage. commissioner hwang: in terms of the foliage, i asked the question of ms. short, is that something that could be corrected by trimming in pruning it? >> absolutely. it could be improved by substantially trimming back, and, hopefully, the city, the bureau of urban forests, would tge)ññi to e back enough so that it would not create a safety problem for a considerable amount of time. i recognize that once you trim trees back, they tend to grow even stronger, and that is why just doing a little bit of trimming is not going to solve the problem. it has to be yuri substantial. commissioner hwang: thank you -- it has to be pretty substantial.
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>> department of urban government. someone i knew ran a nursery, and i got stories of certain plants he would put in certain places and trees to would not put in certain places. you have trees whichever words that have damaged the sidewalks, necessitating their removal -- you have trees which have words. -- roots that have damaged the sidewalks. at the same time, these are the words that are good for the health of the tree. -- these are the roots. úpv÷úyña%aiif it is not trimme, the remaining roots 2kñiñiñimaye sufficient in a wind condition or another condition to keep it in the ground. you have damage to the sidewalk, and i do not think it is unreasonable to think that similar trees would do the same
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thing in the future. the resident is apparently willing to make them consistent by providing five new trees, taking the cost of that, repairing the sidewalk, and a think overall, it is more pleasing, because you have several in front. given that in given that their desire is to do that so as to prevent it and that nobody is willing to in any way compensate that, and five years from now, they are not in the same position again, i think it is very, very reasonable for them to want to take this action. if they were taking out it completely, that would be one thing, but they are willing to replace the trees for something which may be much more appropriate for their location, and i see no reason to deny it. commissioner hwang: any of the
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father -- further public comments? seeing none, we will move to rebuttal. ms. short, you have three minutes. >> a couple of questions. safety is one of our paramount concerns, as well, which is why we are always looking at the safety of the tree, and we would not recommend doing that if it would stabilize vote -- destabilize it. this would be so the we would insure that the tree could be safely cut and that the sidewalk to be saved we repaired. in addition, the foliage is due in part to in proper pruning techniques. that actually creates further growth and a stress response which creates these varied dance
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canopies. it is important that this is undertaken according to the city standards and the industry standards, and that would help us reduce the future maintenance burden of the trees. lastly, just on the safety issue, there have been studies about it being less crime in areas where there are more trees as opposed to being very bearish. if the trees were properly print, i think that would alleviate a lot of these concerns, and, again, we would be on site to advise when the sidewalk was opened up to make sure we're not creating a safety condition. commissioner fung: i think that z that are the basis of the appeal.
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>> correct. commissioner fung:oé the other species, i do not quite remember what you said. >> the new zealand christmas tree. we do recommend them under certain conditions, but they are not on the top performer list. commissioner fung: i know the new zealand is only recommended for more sandy. +++++u++5
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commissioner hwang: ms. short, i do have a question. i just want to be sure. the sidewalk repair has not been undertaken. >> yes. commissioner hwang: then your department will possibly change its position? >> that is right. at the department to hearing, the decision of the director was to have us go out on site with the applicant when they undertake the sidewalk repair to try to reassure that we would not be creating an unsafe condition, and when decide what is opened up, of course, we can guess where the roots are, but when it is opened up, we might come in fact, reverse our decision. commissioner hwang: in the alternative would then be to grant this request? if you have not had an opportunity to determine whether or not those trees are proper? >> we would like to have the opportunity to look at the words and have an effort -- look at thre roots and have an effort. commissioner hwang: ok, thank you. vice president goh: there was testimony about them covering up the sign. whose responsibility is that? and when you're speaking about
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safety, and the property managers talk about people hiding behind the trunks of trees, it would seem that we would not have matured trees or those with a large trunk? >> trash canso.?ús vice president goh: is there something about a large trees, large trunkedjg trees? >> no. commissioner garcia: ms. short, it was recommended that future mean it's been with certain standards to prevent. there is no requirement if these trees should be pruned, if we uphold? >> it is for certain clearances, so the street light would require prunq of the street lights. if people want to have a very dense canopy on the tree, and it from the city, the city does not necessarily require pruning of the tree. pedestrian access over the sidewalk and the curved line, we recommend -- there is a required clearance of 6 feet from a street light. commissioner garcia: the seven trees, three will be removed. what about the four trees left? how many are the new zealand?
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>> there are two of each. commissioner garcia: two, and you think they are all -- i do not want to speak, but new zealand christmas trees are not entirely popular? >> i would say all four trees have been poorly pruned in the past, which does cause some structure will floss for the trees. however, they are both very resilient species, and there is a lot of new growth to work with, so it was our feeling that they did not meet the standard. the standard of limb failures, and they did not meet our standards, either. commissioner garcia: last
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question, the three trees that would go in would not have competition from the other ones? >> no. there were other large trees there. commissioner garcia: thank you. >> thank you. commissioner hwang: ms. salerno, you also have three minutes. >> i would like to make the point that at no time during what she said there would be no chance of this happening again. as i mentioned, and as you know, this is incredibly costly for us. they are huge trees. they are probably the largest not fit esthetically, and we k2xsimply want to go ahead and install trees that areñr more a deuce of to an urban environment and fit in nicely with the urban block. i am not necessarily saying that removing these trees and putting
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in smaller ones would have an effect on the amount of crime that is happening. graffiti etched into glass, hypodermic needles, a slew of things that really tell me this is a crime had the environment. spsit tends to93 attract drug activity, so i want to do everything in my power to keep my residence and my neighbors -- that is of paramount importance to me, and i do not want to have any opportunity for anyone to be heard, which means these trees probably need to go, because the diameter, the circumference of the truck, is larger than a telephone pole for some of these trees. they are big trees. it is easy to hide behind. i am not saying it will happen, i am saying it could happen. so in the interest of protecting residents, i would really like to have these trees removed, and
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i want to have them replaced with something smaller and esthetically pleasing. commissioner garcia: would it be possible to have it so the light could be cast on the trunks? >> i am sure is a possibility, but i would not want to have to go above and beyond in the interestzb, to put it plainly, t just seems extraneous. commissioner garcia: how long has your group of into this? >> i believe it was less than one year. commissioner hwang: thank you.
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commissioners, the matter is before you. i find the beso for the denial sound and persuasive, and there was no error as demonstrated. commissioners, i would be unkind to uphold. -- inclined to uphold. commissioner garcia: i understand cost issue, but it is more costly to replace. i would hope that the appellant would like to get it so that when the time comes to extend it, and a new inspection takes place, that she would be perhaps better treated, not that she was not well treated, better treated in terms of her interest.
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as was said by commissioner hwang, i see no basis to overturn the department, and the safety issue to me is, i think there other ways to get around that. i faint it there is probably a way to light the trees, light the trunks, to these attenuate the issue, and i asked how long they had owned the house, and those trees came with the house, and they probably have a right to continue. i do not intend to vote to overturn. commissioner fung: i will take a different approach. i would rather look did this at the following way. number one, this is an
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opportunity to renew with trees that are more appropriate. i find that these two particular species, i have probably said it too many times, are probably not very appropriate. i do not find them to be appropriate for the urban diversity. secondly, the nature of the streetscape, it is a balance, there is the relationship of a number of things that affect the streetscapes, and to be able to keep on opening and increasing the wells is not some the witnesses dearly in proves the street scape. it doesn't prove -- it does improve the roots, so i am
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prepared to vote with the appellant. vice president goh: i intended to vote to maintain the tree. they are mature, healthy trees, and there will come an opportunity to replace those trees. that can happen even now, when the city arborist takes a look at the roots and determines they cannot be saved, or it can happen closer to the end of their natural life. the city has lost many of its mature trees. i would vote to uphold the department, as well. commissioner hwang: i move to a poll, based on the report. thank you. mr. pacheco, could you call the roll, please? secretary pacheco: the motion is
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from commissioner hwang to uphold. on the motion -- [calling roll] thank you. it is 3-1, and it is upheld on that basis. commissioner hwang: let's move on to item no. 7. mr. pacheco, could you please call that item? secretary pacheco: calling item number seven, 10-082. ted bartlett. 800 block of steiner street and 940

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